Violence has been roiling the streets of Portland, Oregon, for over 50 days now, with businesses, buildings and monuments being destroyed and police officers and others being attacked and injured. Rioters have repeatedly struck a federal courthouse in the city.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, both Democrats, have refused to take substantive action to quell the violence and have even hamstrung the ability of city law enforcement to effectively police.
Finally, President Donald Trump decided enough is enough. On July 7, federal authorities announced that seven people had been arrested in the ongoing violence at the courthouse.
“The Hatfield Federal Courthouse has been a repeated target of vandalism, sustaining extensive damage,” the Department of Justice said in a news release. “U.S. Marshals Service deputies and officers from the Federal Protective Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection working to protect the courthouse have been subjected to threats; aerial fireworks including mortars; high intensity lasers targeting officers’ eyes; thrown rocks, bottles, and balloons filled with paint from demonstrators while performing their duties.”
The violence continued, however — prompting more federal action.
Video of one arrest went viral last week, and left-wing media immediately sprung into action, portraying the rioters as peaceful innocents snatched up by scary federal agents.
“‘It was like being preyed upon’: Portland protesters say federal officers in unmarked vans are detaining them,” read a headline in The Washington Post on Friday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined the fray, denouncing the law enforcement officers as Trump’s “stormtroopers” in a tweet Friday.
Unidentified stormtroopers. Unmarked cars. Kidnapping protesters and causing severe injuries in response to graffiti.
These are not the actions of a democratic republic.@DHSgov’s actions in Portland undermine its mission.
Trump & his stormtroopers must be stopped.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 18, 2020
U.S. Customs and Border Protection explained the arrest in a news release.
“CBP agents had information indicating the person in the video was suspected of assaults against federal agents or destruction of federal property,” the agency said Friday. “Once CBP agents approached the suspect, a large and violent mob moved towards their location. For everyone’s safety, CBP agents quickly moved the suspect to a safer location for further questioning.
“The CBP agents identified themselves and were wearing CBP insignia during the encounter. The names of the agents were not displayed due to recent doxing incidents against law enforcement personnel who serve and protect our country.”
Brown was outraged about the administration’s actions.
“This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety. The President is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government,” the governor tweeted Thursday.
This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety. The President is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government. https://t.co/PdlZkmW0mQ
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) July 16, 2020
The Democrat said she told Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf that “the federal government should remove all federal officers from our streets. His response showed me he is on a mission to provoke confrontation for political purposes. He is putting both Oregonians and local law enforcement officers in harm’s way.”
Later, in an interview with NPR, Brown said, “The Trump administration needs to stop playing politics with people’s lives. We don’t have a secret police in this country. This is not a dictatorship. And Trump needs to get his officers off the streets.”
Four years ago, however, the governor had a very different view on federal involvement in Oregon protests.
Brown called upon U.S. authorities to end the occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by armed protesters. Back then, the governor sent a letter to President Barack Obama calling on him to send federal authorities to end the standoff at the wildlife refuge.
“Today I spoke with James Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations,” she wrote. “I followed up on these conversations by sending the enclosed letter. During my conversations, I conveyed the harm that is being done to the citizens of Harney County by the occupation, and the necessity that this unlawful occupation end peacefully and without further delay from federal law enforcement. On behalf of all Oregonians, I appreciate your consideration of our desire to see this situation come to a close, and I thank you for your timely attention to this matter.”
Apparently, the governor is not concerned about the harm being done to the residents of Portland today.
Obviously, these are different circumstances. In January 2016, armed conservatives led by Ammon Bundy staged a takeover of the refuge to protest federal land-use regulations. At the time, Brown wanted federal officers to clear out the occupiers of the bird sanctuary.
Now she wants federal law enforcement officers gone as leftist rioters continue to cause chaos and frighten residents.
Why would a Democratic governor fail to quell violence in a major city in her state, as Republicans governors quickly did in Texas and Florida? The months-long inaction has resulted in the Trump administration’s intervention to protect federal buildings.
The answer can be found in the delusional responses of leftists when conservative producer Robby Starbuck replied to Brown’s tweet. “You let Antifa run your streets so Trump had to step in. The feds are acting because you refused to do your job,” he said.
Left-wing commenters proceeded to deny protesters were violent or that antifa even existed.
One commenter said, “I live here. I know the facts first hand. Antifa does not even exist. The protests are peaceful.” She blamed the destruction on the anti-government group Boogaloo, which she said is “trying to pin their actions in the law abiding demonstrators.”
“There is no ‘antifa organization.’ ‘Antifa’ means ANTIFASCISM. The United States has always been antifascist. Find a new conspiracy,” another said.
Someone else called antifa a “White Nationalist fairy [tale].”
So the protests are peaceful, but all the damage in the city is really just by right-wingers infiltrating the protests. And the name “antifa” just stands for “antifascism,” but antifa does not even really exist. Got it? The mental gymnastics leftists can perform could make anyone dizzy.
Even liberal CNN, which has long acted as a Democratic Party puppet, has reported on violence against the federal courthouse in Portland.
This is some of the video taken by an Officer who was embedded with a Rapid Response Team tonight. The Officer sustained injury from a mortar that exploded near her feet while she was recording. pic.twitter.com/S4JvlXioZc
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 5, 2020
Wheeler, who has allowed his city to be under siege for almost 50 days, also attacked the federal response to the rioting.
“We do not need or want their help. … The best thing they can do is stay inside their building, or leave Portland altogether,” he tweeted Tuesday.
The best thing they can do is stay inside their building, or leave Portland altogether. Our goal is to end these violent demonstrations quickly and safely. And in the meantime, I asked him to clean up the graffiti on local federal facilities.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 14, 2020
Earlier in the month, the weak Wheeler publicly pleaded with the rioters to stop the violence.
“Groups continue to target the Justice Center, threatening the safety of hundreds of inmates and employees inside. They continue to hurt small businesses owned by people of color, instill fear in communities of color, and start fires in buildings with people inside, in one specific case, even bolting emergency doors so that they could not escape,” he said, according to KOIN-TV.
“These attacks undermine public safety in our community, and they harm the very people and businesses we need to be lifting up,” Wheeler said.
So the mayor admitted the riots were endangering the safety of the city and a federal courthouse.
Yet he refused to do anything about it and tied the hands of law enforcement to take substantive action. Then he criticized Trump for protecting the federal courthouse.
For Wheeler and Brown, the left-wing narrative must be protected at any cost, including the cost of their own city and state.
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